Jessica Merino, CFP®
President & Financial Advisor
Jessica’s interest in finances started back when she was about 9 years old, long before she knew what financial planning was. For birthdays, she passed up the usual doll and board game requests and instead asked for shares of stock, as she was fascinated with the stock market. While in high school, she began investing her own money after receiving 1 share of Walmart stock from her grandparents. This led her to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, Investments, & Banking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She took a position as a financial advisor at a large firm where she worked for 11 years before starting Merino Wealth in 2016.
Jessica has helped clients in all walks of life and has built up a specialty working with high income earning female service professionals like attorneys, consultants, and women in tech who are in their 30s and 40s. She understands their challenges so her goal is to help them feel more confident and less stressed as they pursue their financial goals. Jessica loves her work and is passionate about helping women work towards financial equality.
Jessica’s a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, providing financial planning services as a “fiduciary”—acting in the best interest of her financial planning clients. She was also awarded as 2019’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. In order to expand her knowledge, Jessica is also pursuing the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA) certification through the Investments & Wealth Institute™. Since only 17% of financial advisors are women Jessica’s also passionate about mentoring and collaborating with other female financial advisors.
In her free time, Jessica volunteers with Step Up, mentoring young women in under-resourced communities. She’s also a member of the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, the Professional Women’s Club of Chicago, TIC’s Women Advisor Group, and the Fairway Network. Jessica lives on the Near North Side of Chicago with her wonderful husband Mike and their adorable dog Finnegan.
Addie Pesche, AFC®
Addie has always been a people-person who enjoys working with and helping others. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Consumer Science, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and received her certification as an Accredited Financial Counselor® through AFCPE® .
Addie has lived across the U.S. and the world. Her experience as a military spouse has enabled her to adapt quickly to new situations. While pursuing her certification, Addie developed her professional skills in several volunteer capacities. Her past experiences include preparing taxes for VITA, teaching financial readiness classes for military families, and preparing first-term Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen in financial responsibility. Currently Addie is working through additional coursework to provide counseling on student loan debt.
In her free time, Addie coaches youth soccer, sits on the board as secretary for the Clinton Youth Foundation, and has recently volunteered as ‘Popcorn Colonel’ for her son’s Cub Scout pack.
When not wrangling her two rambunctious sons, Addie also enjoys date nights with her husband, testing out new recipes in her kitchen, exploring her current neighborhood in upstate New York on long walks with her dog, Sula, and ticking off life’s experiences from her ever growing bucket list.
Michael is enjoying being back in Chicago after a career change led him to Los Angeles, California. Having previously worked for Citibank in client service various roles, Michael embraced the opportunity to get back into the financial services industry and to work for Merino Wealth Management.
With over 20 years of administrative experience, at Merino Wealth Michael assists in the development and implementation of firm policies and procedures; manages and oversees the administration the office, scheduling and confirming client meetings, helps assist clients with any technical issues they may be having, and lends a hand in many of the firm's marketing initiatives.
In his spare time, Michael and his husband enjoy exploring various restaurants in Chicago, spending time at the park with their dogs, and working with the Parkinson’s Foundation, amfAR, and the Human Rights Campaign.